Coming into this postseason, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was the career leader in postseason strikeouts with 207, but he was just two ahead of Justin Verlander. Verlander started Game 1 of the ALDS for the Astros against the Mariners, and while he pitched horribly and didn’t make it to the fifth inning, he did rack up three strikeouts on the day to jump ahead of Kershaw at 208.
Last night, it was Kershaw’s turn.
Clayton Kershaw is again Major League Baseball's all-time postseason strikeout leader. He now has 210 — with two very clutch Ks to get out of a second-and-third jam in the second inning.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) October 13, 2022
Clayton ended up with six strikeouts in five innings last night, putting him at 213 in his postseason career, five ahead of Verlander. The career mark may switch hands another time or two this month, depending on how far both the Dodgers and the Astros go in the postseason. Kershaw won’t start again in the NLDS, but if the ALDS goes five games, Verlander could get one more start against the Mariners. Kershaw and Verlander each currently have 31 career postseason starts, although Kersh also has six relief appearances compared to just one for Verlander. JV’s postseason K/9 is 9.8, while CK’s is 9.9.
In the end, Kershaw reclaiming the postseason strikeout title was about the only thing that went well for L.A. on Wednesday night. Kersh got a no-decision after allowing three runs in five innings, and the Dodgers’ offense was unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities in a 5-3 loss. That evened the series at one game each as the Dodgers and Padres head to San Diego for Game 3 on Friday night.
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